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Thread: Exxon seeks OK to resume Russian oil venture

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    Default Exxon seeks OK to resume Russian oil venture

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Exxon Mobil is seeking permission from the U.S. government for approval to resume drilling around the Black Sea with a Russian partner, state-owned Rosneft, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    The oil giant's request is being reviewed by the Trump administration and is certain to draw extra scrutiny because it involves a company formerly run by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who cultivated close ties with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.

    The drilling venture was blocked when the U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014. Exxon applied to the Treasury Department for a waiver from the sanctions in 2015, during the Obama administration, according to the person, who spoke anonymously because the application process is confidential. Exxon has publicly disclosed licenses for other work in Russia that required waivers.

    An Exxon spokesman said the company declined to comment on ongoing issues.

    The Treasury Department, which would handle Exxon's application to drill around the Black Sea, did not respond to a request for comment.

    A State Department spokesman said Tillerson has recused himself from any matters involving Exxon for two years and is not involved with any decision involving the company before any government agency. Tillerson retired as Exxon CEO at the end of last year. He has known Putin for about two decades — the Russian president awarded Tillerson a special honor in 2013.

    Irving, Texas-based Exxon disclosed in regulatory filings in 2015 and 2016 that it received three licenses from the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control to conduct "limited administrative actions" with Rosneft. The company said it was complying with all sanctions regarding investments in Russia.

    The sanctions were imposed after Russia annexed the Crimea region of Ukraine in 2014. Among other things, U.S. companies were prohibited from transferring advanced technology used to drill offshore and in shale formations. Exxon was ordered to stop drilling in the Kara Sea off Russia's northern coast. The head of Exxon's Russian partner, Rosneft, was personally blacklisted.

    As Exxon CEO, Tillerson opposed the sanctions, telling shareholders in 2014 that sanctions were usually ineffective and caused "very broad collateral damage."

    Tillerson and Exxon agreed to the venture with Rosneft in 2011. The Russia sanctions have cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars. Exxon reported in 2015 that its potential losses related to the Rosneft venture could run to $1 billion.

    If the sanctions are lifted Exxon could push ahead with lucrative exploration and production opportunities in the Black Sea, Siberia and the Russian Arctic.

    Exxon's ambitions could be complicated, however, by concern over what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded were Russian cyberattacks to interfere with the U.S. presidential election last year. Congress is also investigating possible ties between aides to then-candidate Donald Trump and Russian officials.

    Exxon's critics said that if the Trump administration approved Exxon's request, which was reported first by The Wall Street Journal, then Congress should block it on environmental and national-interest grounds.

    A Greenpeace official, Naomi Ages, said approving Exxon's request to drill in the Black Sea would give momentum to drilling in the Arctic and "would also send a message to Russia that it can intervene in any country, including the United States, with no consequences."
    http://m.gazette.com/ap-source-exxon...le/feed/454978

    Given the $500 billion contract that Exxon made with Russia prior to sanctions, it was only a matter of time before everyone expected this request. Sec'y of state Tillerson has recused himself from this decision since he was the former head of Exxon-Mobile, but given president Trump's continuing interest and approval of Putin it seems a rather certain answer. There is no better way to eliminate Obama's influence than throwing away the only action the US might have to persuade Russia (really Putin) to give back Crimea and leave the Ukraine alone.
    Trump's obvious lies make it impossible to believe anything he says that might be true. His presidency is falling apart fast.

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    Default Exxon Mobil could tap huge Arctic assets if US-Russian relations thaw


    Exxon Mobil stands to regain access to huge reserves of oil if the United States rolls back sanctions on Russia.

    U.S. sanctions on Russia have prevented Exxon Mobil from exploring assets covering 63.6 million acres. The prospect of rapprochement between the U.S. and Russia remains speculative, but both President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have said they want to improve relations. The two countries' relationship fell apart after Russia took Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and then intervened in civil wars in Ukraine and Syria.

    Trump over the weekend dismissed the assessment, reached unanimously by 17 U.S. intelligence services, that the Russian government directed cyberattacks on the United States in a bid to "interfere with the U.S. election process." He then waved off a subsequent report citing CIA sources that alleges that intervention was meant to boost his chances of beating Hillary Clinton in November.

    On Tuesday, Trump announced he would nominate Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of State.

    Tillerson has experience negotiating deals in Russia, and he got to know Putin while chief executive of the world's biggest integrated oil and gas company.

    Tillerson has the backing of former Republican Secretaries of State James Baker and Condoleezza Rice, but GOP lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including John McCain and Marco Rubio, have expressed concerns about Tillerson's relationship with Putin.

    Maximum loss from halted ventures: $1 billion

    Tillerson has criticized U.S. sanctions on Russia and was awarded Russia's Order of Friendship by Putin in 2013. To be sure, as Exxon's chief executive, Tillerson's priority has been to his shareholders, and he has sought to protect the company's substantial interests in Russia.

    Exxon's operations in Russia represent only a fraction of its global oil and gas production, but a joint venture with Russian state-controlled oil giant Rosneft to explore and produce fossil fuels in Arctic waters represents a big part of Exxon's potential future production growth.

    Those endeavors have been on ice since 2014, when the United States imposed sanctions on Russia for its incursions into Ukraine. Exxon said in a filing after the sanctions were put in place that its "maximum before-tax exposure to loss from these joint ventures" totaled $1 billion through the end of 2015.

    Exxon did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.
    Tillerson choice is wedge between Germany and US: Cramer
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    Tuesday, 13 Dec 2016 | 9:07 AM ET | 03:04

    Exxon and Rosneft entered the joint venture in 2012 to develop offshore reserves in the Arctic Kara Sea and the Black Sea, as well as onshore assets in Siberia. The following year, they advanced their strategic alliance by adding seven more blocks in the Chukchi, Laptev and Kara seas.

    Exxon's holdings in Russia's Arctic waters and the Black Sea, which are not producing for the energy giant due to the sanctions, totaled 63.6 million acres. By comparison, Exxon holds 85,000 net acres across its main Russian venture, an offshore project called Sakhalin, which was in place before the sanctions.

    Exxon holds a 33 percent stake in Arctic Kara Sea and Black Sea joint ventures, and a 30 percent stake in the Sakhalin project.

    Rosneft estimates there are 87 billion barrels of oil lying in the three blocks of the Kara Sea covered by its joint venture with Exxon Mobil. The first exploration well in the Kara Sea in the icy Arctic waters above Russia yielded a discovery of 730 million barrels of oil, S&P Global Platts reported.
    Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil.
    Trump picks Exxon's Rex Tillerson for secretary of State
    Tuesday, 13 Dec 2016 | 7:01 AM ET | 02:07

    Just days before the Kara discovery was announced, the United States expanded sanctions on Russia's oil industry that forced Exxon Mobil to quickly wind down its operations in the Kara Sea.

    Purely from a size perspective, the Arctic is one of Exxon's biggest prizes, said Anish Kapadia, an analyst at energy investment bank Tudor Pickering Holt. But he cautioned there are many questions about the economics of developing the reserves.

    Drilling in the Arctic is notoriously difficult and can take place only during a few months of the year due to the harsh conditions. A number of oil companies have abandoned Arctic projects in the waters off Alaska.

    From a financial perspective, Exxon's long-term plans in offshore Guyana make more sense than the Arctic joint venture, Kapadia said. Projects to develop liquefied natural gas and Canadian oil sands could also come with lower development costs.

    "It's not just the size of the prize, it's whether you can make it work commercially," Kapadia told CNBC.

    The onshore Siberian assets are not materially significant to Exxon's business, he added. That part of the joint venture likely benefits Rosneft by allowing it to tap Exxon's experience in extracting fossil fuels from tight rock formations, Kapadia explained.
    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/13/exxon...ions-thaw.html
    Trump's obvious lies make it impossible to believe anything he says that might be true. His presidency is falling apart fast.

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    Default Exxon Mobil could tap huge Arctic assets if US-Russian relations thaw


    Exxon Mobil stands to regain access to huge reserves of oil if the United States rolls back sanctions on Russia.

    U.S. sanctions on Russia have prevented Exxon Mobil from exploring assets covering 63.6 million acres. The prospect of rapprochement between the U.S. and Russia remains speculative, but both President-elect Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have said they want to improve relations. The two countries' relationship fell apart after Russia took Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and then intervened in civil wars in Ukraine and Syria.

    Trump over the weekend dismissed the assessment, reached unanimously by 17 U.S. intelligence services, that the Russian government directed cyberattacks on the United States in a bid to "interfere with the U.S. election process." He then waved off a subsequent report citing CIA sources that alleges that intervention was meant to boost his chances of beating Hillary Clinton in November.

    On Tuesday, Trump announced he would nominate Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of State.

    Tillerson has experience negotiating deals in Russia, and he got to know Putin while chief executive of the world's biggest integrated oil and gas company.

    Tillerson has the backing of former Republican Secretaries of State James Baker and Condoleezza Rice, but GOP lawmakers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, including John McCain and Marco Rubio, have expressed concerns about Tillerson's relationship with Putin.

    Maximum loss from halted ventures: $1 billion

    Tillerson has criticized U.S. sanctions on Russia and was awarded Russia's Order of Friendship by Putin in 2013. To be sure, as Exxon's chief executive, Tillerson's priority has been to his shareholders, and he has sought to protect the company's substantial interests in Russia.

    Exxon's operations in Russia represent only a fraction of its global oil and gas production, but a joint venture with Russian state-controlled oil giant Rosneft to explore and produce fossil fuels in Arctic waters represents a big part of Exxon's potential future production growth.

    Those endeavors have been on ice since 2014, when the United States imposed sanctions on Russia for its incursions into Ukraine. Exxon said in a filing after the sanctions were put in place that its "maximum before-tax exposure to loss from these joint ventures" totaled $1 billion through the end of 2015.

    Exxon did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.
    Exxon and Rosneft entered the joint venture in 2012 to develop offshore reserves in the Arctic Kara Sea and the Black Sea, as well as onshore assets in Siberia. The following year, they advanced their strategic alliance by adding seven more blocks in the Chukchi, Laptev and Kara seas.

    Exxon's holdings in Russia's Arctic waters and the Black Sea, which are not producing for the energy giant due to the sanctions, totaled 63.6 million acres. By comparison, Exxon holds 85,000 net acres across its main Russian venture, an offshore project called Sakhalin, which was in place before the sanctions.

    Exxon holds a 33 percent stake in Arctic Kara Sea and Black Sea joint ventures, and a 30 percent stake in the Sakhalin project.

    Rosneft estimates there are 87 billion barrels of oil lying in the three blocks of the Kara Sea covered by its joint venture with Exxon Mobil. The first exploration well in the Kara Sea in the icy Arctic waters above Russia yielded a discovery of 730 million barrels of oil, S&P Global Platts reported.

    Just days before the Kara discovery was announced, the United States expanded sanctions on Russia's oil industry that forced Exxon Mobil to quickly wind down its operations in the Kara Sea.

    Purely from a size perspective, the Arctic is one of Exxon's biggest prizes, said Anish Kapadia, an analyst at energy investment bank Tudor Pickering Holt. But he cautioned there are many questions about the economics of developing the reserves.

    Drilling in the Arctic is notoriously difficult and can take place only during a few months of the year due to the harsh conditions. A number of oil companies have abandoned Arctic projects in the waters off Alaska.

    From a financial perspective, Exxon's long-term plans in offshore Guyana make more sense than the Arctic joint venture, Kapadia said. Projects to develop liquefied natural gas and Canadian oil sands could also come with lower development costs.

    "It's not just the size of the prize, it's whether you can make it work commercially," Kapadia told CNBC.

    The onshore Siberian assets are not materially significant to Exxon's business, he added. That part of the joint venture likely benefits Rosneft by allowing it to tap Exxon's experience in extracting fossil fuels from tight rock formations, Kapadia explained.
    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/13/exxon...ions-thaw.html
    Trump's obvious lies make it impossible to believe anything he says that might be true. His presidency is falling apart fast.

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    If in fact Trump chooses to lift the sanctions Russia could easily become the single greatest oil producer in the world, and Exxon Mobile would gain immense rewards given their 30% share in that oil. Which makes a thoroughly explained reason why Putin would want to make sure Trump was elected.

    On the other hand given the well known influence investigation on Trump's relations with Putin, Trump might simply reject eliminating sanctions just to prove he is not influenced. Whichever choice Trump makes it will be momentous and influence the rest of the world.
    Trump's obvious lies make it impossible to believe anything he says that might be true. His presidency is falling apart fast.

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    If frogs had wings they wouldn't bump their butts when they jumped.....

    Again...tons of conjecture...all intended to simply cast Trump in a bad light. You guys really don't need to do that...he's pretty good at it himself.....but clearly, the Left literally can't control their emotional outbursts....which oddly makes Trump look like the mature one....
    “You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong...You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.” - Ronald Reagan
    "This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capitol can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves." Ronald Reagan (1964)

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